All posts by Dominic Sceski

Dominic Sceski is the self-published author of Elithius and he is determined to become famous through sharing his stories with the world. Omina Deo gloria!

Elithius: An Excerpt from the Revised Edition

So it’s been 9 months and the revised edition of my book is finally finished!  The characters have different names that suit their culture, every culture is more defined and developed, and the plot (hopefully!) flows a lot better.  I’m excited to share this with you!  Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect.  Let me know what you think!


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PROTAGONIST: FEAR HEDEKIRA (THE MAIN CHARACTER)

Begin excerpt

“It’s Fear, right?” the Knight speaks.

I hesitate, squinting.  “Uh-huh.”

“Do you know where you are?”

My mouth opens.  I can see—through the ever-moving torrent of rain—my house behind him.  But I bow my head.  No…it just doesn’t make sense.

“You’re dead, Fear.”

I wince at the words, keeping my head bowed and closing my eyes.

“You know this.”

Tucking my chin to avoid as much water as possible, I open my mouth, breathing deeply.  Dammit.  I have no response…because I know he’s right.  Dead…I’m…dead.  I just can’t believe—

An image of Aislin stumbling away from me in the cave, her blood spurting, flashes in my mind.  Then an image of Arik, roaring at me.  The feeling of the arrow ramming into my back.  Being alone in the forest, feeling cold, losing feeling in my body.  The darkness suffusing my vision.  It all comes back to me.

A harsh, burning sensation fills my chest…my heart aches, so depressed, so full of regret, so lonely…

“I’m here to make a deal with you.”

I grunt, raising my head and opening my eyes.  I regard the figure before me, fully attentive.

“You can call me Alitheo.  I can rescue you from here and give you a second chance at life…but you need to promise me something.”

I swallow, staring harder at the Knight.  Alitheo?  What does that mean?  Finding my tongue, I blurt, “Okay!”

A second chance at life.  Can he really do that?  Can anyone really give me that?  I’m certain I’ve never met this person before.  I have no reason to trust him.  But, at this point, nothing else really matters to me.  I have nothing to lose.  I’ll give him anything he wants!

Nodding, Alitheo seems satisfied.  His voice once again comes to me from the shadow beneath his hood: “I need you to give me, when I ask for it, your heart.”

The sound of the rain beating against the ground, splashing against puddles, pervades the air.

I frown.  “My heart?  What do you—?”

“In every way you can think of.”

I exhale, staring into the darkness beneath the hood.  Does he mean literally?  Like cut it out and give it to him?  Or does he want me to fall in love with him?  I don’t get it.

“When the time comes, I’ll show you how.  Do you promise?”

Lowering my gaze, I shift, scratching my head and wiping off several rivulets of rainwater that were headed for my eyes.  I really don’t even understand what I’m promising.  My eyes rise to the figure before me.  But…does it really matter?  Am I going to turn him down just because of uncertainty?  “I’ll be alive again?” I ask.  “In the same place where I died?”

“In the forest, midway between Sunnan and Noroan, less than a league from the cave where you left your friends.”

I grunt, deciding not to question how he knows all of this.  What…are you?

“Do you promise?” he asks.

Swallowing, I look over my shoulder, back to where the glorious, wonderful version of myself had been standing.  Then my eyes fall once again to the puddle.  An image of what I saw fills my mind.

I look back at Alitheo, my face tight and brow narrowed.  “I promise.”

The Path to Writing Success

The path to success is never easy for a writer.  He must constantly choose between whether he will conform to society’s ever-changing market, or whether he will pursue the story he truly wants to write.  He must fight against the tides of competition.  He must stand up to doubt, look anxiety in the face, and break down the door of loneliness until he breaches the world of networking.

Friendships to be gained.  Trust to be earned.  Audiences to excite and please.

Traditional publishing.  Self publishing.  Blogging.  Journaling.  It doesn’t matter which.

To be a writer, one must be free enough to express their imagination and innermost thoughts.

But to be a writer is also to be a slave.  A slave to the journey, a slave to the stress.  A slave to the loneliness and the bitter chains that society wraps around our necks.

Only those that are strong enough will succeed.  Only those who are resilient will pull through.

Being a writer may never be compared to a “ride”.  This is not a rollercoaster.  It’s a war-zone.  Only the brave survive.

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The Problem With Social Media

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Everybody loves watching their stats go up for ANY venue.  We’ve all been told that social media can be a great tool for promoting ourselves…but it doesn’t always feel like it.  People get swamped with so much information, so many stories in their newsfeed, etc….is it possible for us to stand out?

Facebook is smart by tempting us to buy their “boosts”.  It seems like such a good idea.  We see other companies and THEIR ads and think, “Gee, it all seems so professional!”

If only we could all be professionals at self-promotion.

I can’t say I have an answer to this question.  All I know is that the struggle is real.  As one of the Top 100 Self-Publishing blogs (according to Feedspot), you might be tempted to think “WOW, Dominic is great at promoting his brand.”

My response?  “Hah.  I’ll take any credit I can get.  But the truth is, not really.”

What I’m good at is speaking the truth.  For example, navigating the world of social media is REALLY hard.  We could all use some help.

My answer to just about everything is relatively simple:  work together.

Seriously.  I think it’s that simple.

You want to get somewhere big in life?  You’re gonna’ need help.  We don’t become masters without having teachers…we can’t teach without having been taught.  We can’t climb unless someone gives us a foothold.  We can’t become successful without being given a chance.

Give each other that chance.

Here’s all I’m asking.  Find FIVE fellow, aspiring authors, (or struggling self-published authors) and Like their Facebook page, sign-up to their email list, etc.  Just five.  You have no idea the good you’ll do and the happiness you’ll bring.

To be fair, please post links to YOUR Facebook page(s) or other social media outlets, and I will follow YOU.

And last, to be fair to myself, here’s the link to my Facebook page:

The link to my Smashwords Author Page:

The link to my Amazon Author Page:

Yes, I’m asking for help.  And I want to give people some help too.

Cheers to helping each other out!

-Dominic

 

All Set to Go!

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I’m all ready to go!  My excerpt is set to be published on September 4th by Z Publishing in their upcoming anthology!

Some updates:

Z Publishing has an AWESOME author affiliate program.  Basically, if anyone buys ANYTHING from their website, and I was the one that provided the URL link, then I’ll make commission!

So basically, if you’re interested in purchasing the anthology, be sure to do it from the link I will provide!  I’d highly recommend the anthology, as it contains the writings of ALL emerging writers in the United States.  If short stories and gripping excerpts are your thing, you’re gonna’ love this!

Blogging does actually pay off!  Z Publishing found me through this blog.  The same thing could happen to you.  Persevere!

Cheers!

Looking for New People to Follow

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No, not looking for new FOLLOWERS (although that’s always welcome), I’m looking for new people to FOLLOW.

Recently, I’ve discovered that a lot of the people I follow have stopped blogging and vanished.  That, or I really just don’t follow a lot of people to begin with.

Either way, I’m bored 🙂

I love blogs about writing, publishing, fantasy, anything of that sort.  If you feel like your blog is a good fit for me, introduce yourself in the comment section and I’d be happy to check out your blog.  Don’t be shy!

Changes, Changes, Changes!

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Ever since my book was reviewed by three highly insightful people (you know who you are!), I’ve been determined to make all necessary corrections to my story.

Please make note: for those of you that have read my book, or those of you that plan to read it, this post is EXTREMELY important, and will be affixed as a page hereafter.

So, without further ado, here’s an update of my fantasy series, Elithius.

I basically rewrote the book

Yup.  Just “basically” rewrote it.  If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been all this time (say, the last 9 months), here’s an explanation.

After being told that there is WAY too much “telling” in my book, and not enough “showing”, I’ve gone through the entire book and changed this.  Scenes have been completely rewritten and changed as a result, and hopefully the story feels more compact, complete, and polished.

I changed the names of characters, places, etc., to create a specific culture

Because of all of this, I highly recommend that you REREAD my book, once it’s been republished.  I don’t want you to be confused with names.

Why did I do this?  I felt like the names of my characters didn’t make sense for their given setting.  I also wanted to create a more developed world, so I created a whole culture (very akin to Norse culture) and made sure that everything catered to this culture.  Names, places, and even manners of speaking have consequently been reformed.  Hopefully, this makes the story feel more developed, fitting, and in-depth.

I changed the structure of the story/how things happen

A lot of things are different.  I mean a LOT.  From the way characters meet, to the time they enter the story, a lot of things are different.  I think that all the changes will result in better plotting and more familiarity with each character, hopefully creating a better reader-to-character relationship.

I think it’s a LOT better

Obviously, every author will tell you this.  So you just have to take my word for it.  The universe I’ve created is more polished, the writing style has been purified and reinforced, and the characters are more relatable.  Overall, I’m excited to see what you think!

Thanks for sticking by me through all this.  Here’s to a new edition of Elithius!

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Cover art by Elizabeth M

My Double Personality as a Writer

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Sometimes when I sit down to write, I just expect the words to appear.  It’s like I’m staring at someone else’s book.  The words that are already there aren’t my own.  I didn’t write them…or if I did, it was a different version of myself.  A version that I am currently not.  And so I wait for that version to reemerge, because it’s the only version I trust to write my stories.

Sounds kind of creepy, doesn’t it?  It’s as if there are two of me.  There is the one that writes, and then the one that waits.  The one that waits tends to be the one in control.  Because I spend SO much time waiting for my writing-self to come out; then I realize that I’m just waiting.  Then I accuse myself of laziness.  Then comes the anxiety.  And then I’m in a mood where I couldn’t possibly write.  So I’m back at square one again…waiting.

Of course, when the writing-self does come out, everything is suddenly alive.  Suddenly, I am powerful.  High on imagination, pulsating like fire, I’m unstoppable.  The words flow without cessation, pouring out perfectly, like everything was designed by God.  Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself, but that’s what it feels like.

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What it feels like to be in the “zone”

Do you struggle with a similar double personality as a writer?  How do you triumph over the “waiting-self” that we all have?  What do you do to boost your confidence and your drive?  What gets you in the zone?  Feel free to share in the comments.  I’m all about helping other writers here 😉

When You Finally Get An Acceptance Letter from a Publisher

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Let me tell you, it feels great!

I’ve gotten plenty of rejection letters from publishing companies and literary agents alike.  They usually start out with a “thank you”, which is never a good sign…because after the “thank you” comes a “but”.

But not this time.

Recently, someone from Z Publishing reached out to me (through this blog!) and asked if I would like to submit an excerpt of my book to be featured in an anthology.  How could I refuse???  I still had to go through the submission process just like everyone else, but my excerpt would have a higher likelihood of being accepted because it was a “solicited manuscript”.

Still, higher chance of success or not, getting that email from Z Publishing was awesome, because it’s the first acceptance letter I’ve ever received.  Check it out 🙂

Acceptance Letter

Basically, it says that my submission was accepted, that it’s going to be published, and it also explained what steps have to be taken next.

To give you some more information: my excerpt is going to be a part of anthology.  The anthology features emerging writers in America…that’s actually what the series is called!  Every year, Z Publishing rounds up all the upcoming authors in America and compiles excerpts of their novels into an anthology.  To be counted as an “emerging writer” is certainly a compliment!

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If anything, hopefully this shows that blogging IS good for something.  They found me through this blog, which means something similar could happen to YOU!  I’m not expecting that I’m going to become famous or anything (my excerpt is one among many!) but it’s still something that I can credit to my name in the literary world.  “With an excerpt featured in Z Publishing’s Anthology”.  Always persevere with blogging, it pays off!

I’ll be giving you more news about this crazy shindig as it comes to me.  Cheers!

The Adult Life

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We’re all just unhappy zombies.  Not even just zombies.  Unhappy ones.

We wake up.  We shower (hopefully).  We make our coffee.  We go to work.

Life becomes an endless stream of going from one place to the next, of trying to save time, while understanding that we never had any in the first place.  We spend so much time trying to get time, so that we can waste time in the way we want to.

Each passing day is a blur.  Drive to work.  Spend time serving people we don’t really even know.  Putting on faces that are appropriate, but not real.  We aren’t allowed show people who we really are.  Half the truth is, we don’t even know who we are ourselves.

We spend countless hours trying to be happy, forgetting that, in our search for happiness, we never actually can attain it.  At least not in the way we’ve been trying.  Searching never made anyone happy.  Only finding.  Or better yet, accepting.

Money.  Everybody needs it.  Everybody wants it.  It’s the one thing we try to get above so that we aren’t a slave to it, but it ends up enslaving us anyway.  We try to break free of our chains by fastening them to our wrists.  At least if it’s a choice to be slaves, we can say we were free enough to make such a decision.  We say, “I don’t wanna let money control my life, so I better spend all my time trying to get it.”  Hah.  No wonder life makes no sense.

Pain.  We hate it.  We’ll choose the most difficult route if it doesn’t involve pain.  We’ll sacrifice things for pleasure, even though sacrifice is supposed to involve pain.  We pretend like we’re tough, but the moment the pleasure stops, the moment we get uncomfortable, we’re no better than infants.  Life becomes unacceptable.  Life becomes unfair.  Sometimes, we think it isn’t even worth it.

I’m going through all this now as an adult.  First thing I’m realizing is that being an adult sucks.  Every child thinks about the freedom they’ll have as an adult.  You can’t be controlled by other adults.  You won’t have to ask for permission.  You’ll be carefree, your own boss.

Lies.  Kids are more free than we are.  The older you get, the stronger the chains become.  Welcome to adulthood.

“Everything can be set right, except death.  And death sets everything right.”

-St. Josemaria Escriva

To My Adoring Fans…

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At the promptings of some adoring fans, I have decided to finally update my blog!  Sorry for my absence.  Life has been crazy, what with work….work….more work, and writing projects!

Yes, writing projects.  Lots of them.

I probably sound like a broken record, but I hope to be back for sometime now.  I know I go through these phases where I’m like “BLOGGING IS LIFE!” and then I stop abruptly.  Well, I guess it’s just the way the cookie crumbles.  Either way, here’s to yet another phase.

-Dom